There are exciting times at Central Union School District as they implement the “Take Charge” DoDEA Grant that addresses Health & Fitness. In the fall The Central Union Elementary School District (CUESD) was rewarded a Three–year Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) grant for $680,164.00 to improve physical education and enhance parent, family and community engagement on the two schools on Naval Air Station Lemoore —Admiral Akers Elementary and R. J. Neutra Elementary.
The initiative has two components—community health and physical education program, with parent, family, and community engagement.
The “Take Charge” DoDEA Grant has re-established and enhanced a Grade 1st - 5th physical education program, which has produced outstanding achievement results in the district in years prior to the program being discontinued in 2009 due to budget issues that fell upon so many schools in the state of California.
The Funds from this grant matched district funds to reinstate a certificated physical education teacher at each school site. In addition, physical fitness materials, Technology Fitness Zones, instructional aides, and professional development will be provided through the grant allocations.
CUESD has taken this program to the next step with the enhancement of the introduction of 21st century technology devices into student’s hands to monitor and track physical fitness activities, and healthy habits. Both campuses maintain “Fitness Zones” complete with SMART Trainers, Dance-Dance Revolution, Makoto, TV’s and Xboxes. These interactive multi-functional systems engage user's bodies and brains with a wide variety of games using auditory and visual cues. It is exciting, fun, and educational. For those who do not believe technology can be connected to exercise and movement this is a site to see.
Promoting good health does not stop there, both sites have established the Peaceful Playground Program providing professional development to staff, and guidance to students in participating in safe and fun playground play.
Grant Director, Elizabethe Lozano, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services and Human Resources states, “committed educators are constantly researching on how to provide the safest and engaging environment to the students they serve and credits Superintendent Tom Addington for reminding the district that technology is far more than an iPad or an iPod. It is using technology to enhance the learning environment.”
Lozano states that the grant is a three year process with next year focusing on parent, family, and community engagement. Each site will provide Family Fitness Roundups for parents and families to participate in activities such as Zumba, Family Walks, and Bike Safety. In addition a Wellness Committee will be established this spring to assist the site in planning Wellness Seminars for parent and community members, as well as participate in the well known school Fun Runs.
The Central Union School District and community leaders have embrace the challenge to keep students and families active and aware of the importance to commit to a healthy and active lifestyle to improve the general well being of students. Superintendent Addington is currently working on establishing this program district wide.
Click on the links below to learn more about this program at your school site.